Queer/lgbtq+ games

I thought it would be fun to have a thread recommending queer/lgbtq+ themed games. I don‘t know if there are many queer folks in here but anyone can contribute to this thread!

By queer/lgbtq+ games I’m trying to get at games that revolve, focus or in which queerness is a signifcant fraction of the game, and not ones in which a random npc in a random town mentions something queer, that's probably vaguely homophobic lol

I'm gonna recommend [Secret Little Haven](https://store.steampowered.com/app/827290/Secret_Little_Haven/). It is an adventure game that you experience through a 1999-esque computer OS, in which you interact with characters by talking to people in a Sailor Moon-esque tv show fan forum. The game is extremely well written and it is a very cute heart-warming/wrenching experience.
The game was included in the Itch Bundle for Racial Justice and Equality so a lot of you may already have this game. And you can finish the game in just a couple of hours!

https://ristar.itch.io/secret-little-haven

I am torn about Sayonara Wild Hearts because the game is about a gal getting over her ex-girlfriend, but I don't I figured that out until the end. But also that is not at all my identity so I might not be attune to seeing it.

Thanks for the Secret Little Haven rec, I have that bundle, too, and will check it out (on that bastion for unspeakable content, Itch). I'm sure a Swery mention on this forum is not surprising, but there is also The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories (a game made by a straight creator with much better consultation from the LGBTQIA+ community than his following games).

And @robinhoodie I play through Sayonara Wild Hearts like three times a year. What a polished gem.

Never heard of The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories, it looks cool, I have never played a Swery game before, but im interested in playing Deadly Premonition from what I've heard on the show. Might give Missing JJ a try before Deadly Premonition

I have had Sayonara Wild Hearts on my steam wishlist since it was realesed, and Im quite interested in playing it, maybe it's time to remove it from my wishlist and add it to my cart.

Just a heads up, Deadly Premonition is kind of notorious for dealing with gender identity in a problematic way. The consensus is it's not trying to be harmful, and Swery has been genuinely apologetic about it, but as a fan of the game I feel it would be remiss of me not to say something when it comes up specifically in this thread.

@goonbag#29788 Thanks for the heads up! I will aproach it with that in mind, strangely enough as a trans person, that makes me a littte bit more curious about Deadly Premonition, especially if it wasn't trying to be harmful and if Swery has apologized about it.

@ana-yipyip#29787 Sayonara Wild Hearts is a straight up great game, and the theming was a nice surprise. You are in for a treat.

A couple of years ago I played Lady Killer in a Bind, which is a lesbian erotic visual novel. It‘s an example of an erotic visual novel that isn’t just vapid pornography. I consider it a thoughtful exploration of some aspects of lesbian BDSM and cross-dressing culture, and the game features notable thematic depth. Take my opinion with a grain of salt, though, as I am not a lesbian.

Beware that the game features a non-consensual encounter late in the game. The game treats this encounter with the kind of disdain it deserves, and I understand it to be a moment where the game's themes really come into focus. It's also skippable. But it is there.

Yeah, it‘s been a strange journey with Swery & representation in that regard. There is plenty to love about Deadly Premonition, but one thing to not love is that it certainly falls into the trap of worn-out insensitive character tropes, but it was made by a Japanese team over a decade ago, so that seems to be oblivious rather than malicious. Then Swery releases J.J. Macfield, which was thoroughly consulted upon and widely praised by LGBTQIA+ critics for its character portrayals. Then comes Deadly Premonition 2, and now you’ve got Swery not handling storytelling with trans characters well because he clearly didn't consult any trans folks. So what the heck?

Oh, & to correct course back from Swery to the topic at hand, I recently played [The Trans Zone ](https://glamow-research.itch.io/the-trans-zone)(also included in the Itch racial justice bundle) & although it's much more experiential than "game," it's got a really cool style & stays interesting throughout its short runtime. I thought it was a neat & effective sort of little empathy vector made by two trans women.

I recommend A Normal Lost Phone. I remember some of the puzzles being weird but I enjoyed it overall. It was in the itch.io bundle so you might have it.

[Anodyne 2: Return to Dust](https://store.steampowered.com/app/877810/Anodyne_2_Return_to_Dust/) is not explicitly about queerness but it's certainly easy to have that reading. I don't want to spoil it, but a character's name is an obvious pun that makes it very clear... even though I missed it when playing. Haven't tried [Even the Ocean](https://store.steampowered.com/app/265470/Even_the_Ocean/) by the same devs but I think it's similar.

[Night in the Woods](https://store.steampowered.com/app/481510/Night_in_the_Woods/) has a gay couple and while the game is about a lot of stuff, their story was very memorable. The protagonist is also bi/pan. Doesn't matter much for the story but definitely helped in making her one of the most relatable game characters for me. Oh, it's also in the Unspeakable Games bundle.

Kind of an obvious answer but Gone Home was a big one for me. Not qualified to comment on its presentation of LGBTQ+ issues though. Curious about what those who are qualified have to say about it

this thread has made me realize that everything I’ve thought of as a queer game was not actually a queer game; just a result of me having spent the entirety of my teen years on tumblr at its peak.

I’m gonna dig through these recs with medium level hopes

@tapevulture#29815 Gone Home also came to my mind when I created this thread, honestly I can‘t say much about it either because I played it when I was a confused 13 year old child, I do remember liking it a lot, but at that time I wasn’t sure why the story resonated with me so much.

I think that Gone Home was an important game not only because it was one of the games that helped in defining and popularizing the “walking simulator” genre, but also because I can't think of any game that came before Gone Home that reached that level of mainstream (although still being indie-ish) and presented a queer story in a nonchalant way.

While maybe still not being very inclusive because it essentially presents a story about rich white people, I feel like it felt very fresh at the time.

Maybe I'll play it again soon to have a more concise opinion about it.

What about Dream Daddy: A Dad Dating Simulator? Fun writing and crisp artwork. Can't ask for much more in a dating sim!

Upon playing The Last of Us, and it DLC around release back in 2013/2014, I have to say I was pretty impressed by the way Ellie and Bill were portrayed. At the time, being a young LGBTQ+ person, I didn’t have a lot experience seeing those kinds of characters in a big game, especially a first party exclusive.

Being able to play as Ellie in both TLOU and TLOU2 really stuck out to me too. How often is the main playable character, a LGBTQ+ identifying woman?? Back in 2013, that felt just impossible to me.

Bill’s character development was fairly subtle, and required some lore hunting in the game world but everything felt really natural. His relationship and his identity just felt real to me.

TLOU2 fully elaborated on Ellie’s identity and given the world she was inhabiting. Granted, there were 7 years between the games, I felt like she progressed in a natural way regarding her identity. Ellie and Dina's relationship didn't come across as stereotypical, but rather a relationship built upon a back and forth. Dina provided Ellie some much needed positivity in a world full of negatives.

I don't want to say anything too drastic, but I think TLOU2 handled Lev and his identity extremely well. I am cis gendered, so I'm not really prepared to comment on all of this, but I felt like his identity was handled with care, and the times he was dead named seemed to be contextually relevant to the story and character development. I would love to hear how other people perceived Lev's character development.

@ana-yipyip#29858 I played Gone Home at release, I was in my early 20s, exploring my homosexual identity, and I think Gone Home did a great job. I remember being pleasantly surprised by the queer narrative that was sort of hidden away in the lore of the game. It was subtle, natural, and explored some of the struggles that I felt I had when I was a teen. (I haven't played Gone Home since then though.)

Disclaimer is that my Straight/Cis perspective is chiming in.

_VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action_, has several characters who are queer or trans. The player character is a gay woman. I think it does a good job of saying "Hey, these people exist in the world!" without being heavy-handed.

I also really liked _Gone Home_.

Again, my disclaimer above may color your opinion of my opinion.

I would just throw out Super Crush KO

There isn't really any overt queer story yet (I'm about 85% through), but the main character has a lot of charged energy between the villain (both female).

It's an action game, but it has a really pleasant aesthetic; the color pallette is basically the trans pride flag, which I appreciate.

*I am admitting that this is my interpretation as a straight (white) guy that may be REALLY far off as a result of my own cultural blind spots and biases

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@antillese#30016 VA-11 Hall-A: Cyberpunk Bartender Action

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@dylanfills#30020 I would just throw out Super Crush KO

both of those games look really cool, I will definetly check them out! thanks!

I didn‘t like how VA-11 Hall-A made me talk to a rich girl and her cop friend for a huge chunk of my playtime with nothing interesting to say about the two of them regarding class and power dynamics—in a cyberpunk game. There’s this conversation that Stella gets into with the Costanza sendup and the game just lets her spew her technocrat propaganda with little challenge to any of it. That left a bad taste in my mouth and made me embarrassed for having recommended the game to a friend of mine before finishing it. The best things about that game remain its soundtrack and PC-98 art direction.

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@“穴”#p31331 I didn’t read any of the context and I wasn’t aware of much of the hate discourse surrounding the game at that time.

To be fair to you, from what I can remember of the pre-release conversation/promotion, it was said that there was a trans character but it was not openly spoken of who the character was and what their deal was and especially not to what degree them being trans was a part of the story. So, I don't think you're naive! Especially considering Abby is such a prominent part of the game's story presentation early on, and ||while Lev is undoubtedly a major character in the story he does not make any appearance until well into the story.|| I couldn't decide myself so I think I very carefully looked up the name of the trans character to double check.